Re: [asa] Denyse O'Leary on family values and Darwinism

From: PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Dec 31 2006 - 12:51:48 EST

If you want to redefine the meaning of the terms then fine. Denyse's
comments seem to be making even less sense. However, I fail to see why
Darwinism, redefined by Moorad cannot predict and explain kin
selection etc? After all, if it encompasses the science of Darwinian
evolution, does it not take Darwinian predictions forward?

Of course, if one insists on redefining Darwinism to mean 'a
worldview' then it also seems that one may be attacking a strawmen
here. Either way, Denyse's piece seems to suffer from some major flaws
and short comings which could have been avoided by doing a little
research on these issues. In addition, I fear that ignoring that which
Augustine observed, will do great harm to science and religion alike.

That science or religion can be abused by some is nothing new and
includes countless examples in both science as well as religion. That
however is a very poor reason for conservatives or evangelicals to
reject Darwinian theory.

On 12/30/06, Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu> wrote:
> One must distinguish Darwinism, which is a worldview that encompasses more the science, from Darwinian evolution, which presumably is a scientific theory. It is then nonsensical to say that, "Darwinism predicts and explains the concept of kin selection, altruism as well as reciprocal altruism. In fact, it that the most relevant biblical teachings can be explained by Darwinian evolution."
>
>
> Moorad
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of PvM
> Sent: Sat 12/30/2006 8:07 PM
> To: asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: [asa] Denyse O'Leary on family values and Darwinism
>
>
>
> While Denyse has more than once pointed out that she is not a
> scientist, I find it occasionally necessary to point out the more
> obvious errors in her 'arguments'. Especially when the arguments fall
> in the category against which Augustine has warned us Christians.
>
> For instance on UcD she states that
>
> <quote>Darwinism predicts absolutely nothing of substance for family
> values, which normally derive from philosophical or spiritual beliefs
> about correct relationships. This is true whether given beliefs are
> widely held or wisely held or linked in any obvious way to health,
> wealth, or fertility.</quote>
>
> In fact, this is quite wrong. Darwinism predicts and explains the
> concept of kin selection, altruism as well as reciprocal altruism. In
> fact, it seems that the most relevant biblical teachings can be
> explained by Darwinian evolution.
>
> Teach the controversy at least presumes that one is familiar with the
> basic foundations of that with which one is in disagreement, lest one
> runs the risk of both creating strawmen and falling victim of
> Augustine's warnings.
>
> From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy we learn
> (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biological/)
>
> <quote>
> The idea that group selection might explain the evolution of altruism
> was first broached by Darwin himself. In The Descent of Man (1871),
> Darwin discussed the origin of altruistic and self-sacrificial
> behaviour among humans. Such behaviour is obviously disadvantageous at
> the individual level, as Darwin realized: "he who was ready to
> sacrifice his life, as many a savage has been, rather than betray his
> comrades, would often leave no offspring to inherit his noble nature"
> (p.163). Darwin then argued that self-sarcrificial behaviour, though
> disadvantageous for the individual 'savage', might be beneficial at
> the group level: "a tribe including many members who...were always
> ready to give aid to each other and sacrifice themselves for the
> common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this
> would be natural selection" (p.166). Darwin's suggestion is that the
> altruistic behaviour in question may have evolved by a process of
> between-group selection.
> </quote>
>
> what a little research can actually do for the quality of one's arguments...
>
> Happy New Year
>
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>

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Received on Sun Dec 31 12:52:19 2006

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